|Photograph by Frederick William Wallace, WPA H25, MMA MP400.109.2|
Titled "Iced Up", the photograph shows how freezing spray can coat a ship with a thick layer of ice. This can make a ship dangerously top-heavy, so the ice has to be smashed off with wooden mallets.
In his book, A Camera on the Banks: Frederick William Wallace and the Fishermen of Nova Scotia, the historian Brook Taylor recounts a grueling winter survival story about Monty Muise. On a previous voyage, Muise became separated from his schooner in a thick snow storm. His dory contained no food and only a little water. He had no choice but to row towards the distant coastline, far over the horizon. "It was awful rough at times and I'd have to knock off pullin' and git to bailin' the water out of the dory. It was freezing cold too, and the dory was icing up, and I'd have to knock the ice off of her." Muise was rescued by a passing three masted schooner on the third day. After some soup and coffee in the galley, Muise noticed that they were passing near Shelburne, so he asked to be put over the side with his dory. He rowed over ten miles up Shelburne Harbour and walked into town to get "fixed up" with friends. He was, in Wallace's words, "as tough in physical fibre as they make 'em".
This photograph is from the Museum's Frederick William Wallace Collection, a remarkable assembly of meticulously documented photographs of schooners and their men made by Wallace as he sailed and worked with them in the early 20th century.
Closer to home, some more remarkable winter images can be seen on the blog of Martin Hubley, the Curator of History at the Nova Scotia Museum. He has assembled some rare and odd shoots of snowy sidewalks from years past from the NSM History Collection.